I wanted to write a review of “Interstellar” immediately after seeing it last week but I didn’t manage to do it. Other things got in the way: work tasks, chores at home, meetings, and so on. One can say that life got in the way, but there’s really more than that. A very wise woman once told a group of aspiring writers that science fiction is a great genre to write about but if one doesn’t have the chops for it, then s/he shouldn’t bother. I am paraphrasing but you get the meaning, I’m sure. It rang especially true for me, who love to read books and watch movies in this genre but don’t have the ‘chops’ to write it. So how do I adequately review a film that is immersed in some pretty complicated science when I only have a cursory understanding of the concepts that suffuse the narrative?
I could probably focus on the strands of human drama that have been deftly woven into the story. Of all the Christopher Nolan films I have seen, “Interstellar” is the one that proudly wears its heart on its sleeve. It explores human relations in the bigger backdrop of humanity’s relationship with the planet and the universe. It presents arguments on how being carers stack up against being explorers; how familial attachments are impacted by worldly concerns and issues. And on how love and its many permutations really drive our thoughts and actions–like gravity. This aspect of the movie, to me, was more provocative than the scientific speculations that were presented in a spectacular manner. But then again, I’m not a physicist. I’m not even a scientific geek.
Being a science-fiction fan, I was able to appreciate at least the science portrayed in “Interstellar”. For this, I should be thankful to the things I read and watched in the past, such as the movies “Event Horizon” and “Contact”, those space-themed documentaries at the Discovery and NatGeo channels, and books by Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, among others. I also read parts of Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”. I should probably resume reading it before I see “The Theory of Everything” but I digress. These books, TV shows, and films somehow prepared and allowed me to enjoy a movie like “Interstellar”. The biggest scientific lesson for me? Gravity transcends time and space. The biggest lesson in the movie? Love transcends them all. Imagine that.
Now I understand why love is “The Fifth Element”!
“Interstellar” tells a grand yet intimate story of struggle and survival. Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain essayed their roles perfectly. Anne Hathaway was great but her role, I think, was underwritten. Matt Damon’s cameo was a delight. I wanted to pour liquid nitrogen on him, actually. He was that effective. Michael Caine rounds up this great cast. Excellent visuals and production design. As in the other movies of Christopher Nolan, I don’t mind the ear-splitting music as long at it doesn’t overpower the dialogue. The movie is about 3 hours long but it still left me wanting for more. I emerged from the theater exhilarated and exhausted at the same time. I plan to catch it again in the cinemas before it disappears.
Posted on November 15, 2014, in journal, review and tagged 2014, A Brief History of Time, anne hathaway, Christopher Nolan, Contact, Event Horizon, Interstellar, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughy, movie, Stephen Hawking, The Fifth Element. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.